*picture courtesy of MonGoloRoboKop
Hometown: Chino Hills, CA
Years playing sf2: since 91
Favorite fighting game: SSF2
Main character: Ryu
weapon of choice: hmm, I guess Katana blade (tmnt)
Other characters that you play at a high level:
Ken, DJ, Guile, Sagat, ChunLi (don’t really play those characters on joystick)
Westcoast War Zone Team Tourney - 4th Place with Voltech
SB4 - 2nd Place
WCW2 - 4th place
Denjin Ranbats/Tournies - 1st
Devastation - 1st
NCR 2009 - 3rd
Super NCR 2009 - 2nd
Evo 2010 - 2nd
papasi: Why did you pick your nick Dark Gaiden?
DG: Came up with the name during the Xband days/era…the same Xband Cigarbob mentioned. I was always a Ninja Gaiden fan, and thought the word “gaiden” sounded cool and unique.
I just added the "Dark" to it just to give some style to the name. Haha, I was young back then.
papasi: Most people consider either HF or ST as the best SF2. What makes you think SSF2 is better?
DG: In my local scene, WW and CE were a tremendous success. Once the hacked versions aka rainbow edition/black belt started to infiltrate the scene, interested started to die a little in SF2.
It seemed like everyone was waiting for the infamous SF3. When HF was released, it felt like a beta/patch to CE rather than a new game. I remember at the arcades in the mall (Time-out Arcade), they would charge 75 cents to play HF when it first came out. No one touched the game, because to the masses, paying an additional 25-50 cents just to play a faster version of CE, with a few new moves, wasn't enough to justify it. So many just kept on playing WW and CE and ignored HF. The only reason I even touched HF, was because as most people remember, the snes version didn't have CE, the only way to actually play the bosses was to buy HF. HF, just never felt like a new game to me. With SSF2, I remember seeing all the early in game shots from EGM and how Capcom was essentially hyping it up as SF3 From the new characters, new moves, new stages, new music and new feel of the game (aka cps2), New challengers felt like a real sequel to CE for me. When SSF2 actually arrived, I was disappointed in the speed like most people (after getting accustomed to playing with faster speed on HF on console). Despite the speed, I actually was pleased at the overall presentation of the game...from the new character select screen (why in the world didn't ST keep this!) to the stages, etc.
papasi: ST didn’t keep the selection screen otherwise it’s hard to pick akuma
DG: Haha. So when I heard that the SNES version would have the speed settings, I was set.
SSF2 to me, had a slightly different feel than the "rugged" feel of the CPS1 games, which I thought was a good thing to differentiate itself from its predecessors. More importantly, despite the different feel it still kept the core game play of SF2 intact. Now, when ST was announced, I thought it was just Capcom's attempt to add speed to SSF2. I didn't think they would change the direction of the way SF2 was played. I remember seeing screen caps in EGM2 and thinking...so this is a new update, but they're (Capcom) not adding any new characters (akuma didn't really count imo) or stages The first thing that went through my mind was..."here we go again with another patch SF version"
papasi: You’re one of those people who consider super a cheating move ?
DG: I don’t think supers are cheating…it’s just that they remove a whole another aspect of the zoning game.
Playing ryu vs ryu on HF and SSF2 is night and day different than playing ryu vs ryu on ST
papasi: But new games nowadays fully embrace the concept of meter management. Once meter is built, it changes the game dynamics, and it’s more exciting for some people
DG: with ST you essentially want to build the meter to gain the advantage in the matchup…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing
But with certain supers you can simply bypass the elaborate zoning pattern one may setup during a match With ST, there is no real reason to ever try to analyze your opponents fireball projectile throwing pattern or ratio in the ryu vs ryu match. I mean, when was the last time you heard someone reading/describing someone's ratio of throwing jab fbs to medium, back to jab fbs and then onto fierce fireballs or judging a player based off their tendency to throw possibly 2 medium punch fireballs from an exact distance...etc..is stuff I just don't hear from players nowadays. It's almost like that aspect of zoning (the psychological) is a lost art
papasi: So super meter is the sole reason you prefer SSF2 over ST? What about juggles?
DG: Juggles always seemed kind of funny to me in a SF2 engine…it just looks weird.
DG: My first experiences with ST made me hate the game haha
I remember playing Jason Cole in AE back in 2004 in the BYOC room, he beat me with a reversal super with Chun to stop my cross up tatsu...and then he comboed into Chun's up kicks...I was like this is SF2? or as I used to call Chun Li...'Game Genie Chun'
papasi: You seem to grow up in the arcade, but play a lot more SF on SNES instead.
DG: Back in the arcade days…I never could play on a joystick. Even with games like double dragon, pacman, etc, I never felt like I had control of the characters because of the joystick.
When WW came out...I always remember getting destroyed because I just couldn't do anything on the joystick However, with a Nintendo pad...things always felt natural So when it was announced that WW was going to be released on snes, my brother and I went crazy haha We saw it as a chance to avenge all those arcade losses Literally 5 months before WW released on snes, we planned our button config in anticipation of that game. To this day, I've never seen anyone with our weird config
papasi: That’s interesting. How weird was that? I believe the default is LP MP LK MK on the face buttons and HP HK on the shoulders
DG: haha, we were young so we had a lot of free time Our config was: xabrly x = jab, a = medium punch, b = fierce punch, y = roundhouse l trigger = medium kick, r trigger = short kick…
We actually based the config on the buttons we thought were most essential in SF2 combined with the buttons we hit most often when we played regular snes games...lol random huh Back in the snes days, we only played our friends so we didn't have much exposure to competition. Everything changed once xband arrived
papasi: For me personally, I bought WW on SNES first day it came out I played a lot of WW arcade (single player though)
But I immediately felt WW on SNES is totally different than arcade sort of like classic mode vs CPS2 :) So the difference between SNES and arcade don?t bother you?
It?s weird, but I actually prefer the SNES over arcade
SNES felt smoother while the arcade versions felt "sluggish" to me It took me awhile to transition to arcade/CPS2 style SF via emulation because I was so used to SNES SSF2. The linking on that version was faster than arcade. Probably because SNES had less frames
papasi: Yes definitely not running at 60fps
DG: Like tick into SPD is a much faster motion on SNES SSF2 then tick into SPD on ST with Gief That used to mess up my brother years ago